Lotus Elan

RSM949G 1969 S4SE FHC Mech refurbishment

PostPost by: elansprint71 » Mon Feb 03, 2020 5:09 pm

I picked up this stalled sprint and hill-climb project car about eight years ago and, to my shame, have not done anything with it; it's been sulking in the garage giving me dirty looks. Well; the time has come to get stuck in (there has been some pressure from the distaff side of my blissful domestic family arrangements to, basically, get my arse in gear).

Lots of work was already done to the car but some of it needs to be undone, as I'm going to use it on the road; first the newly-built 3.9 diff (500? miles!) will be coming out to be replaced by a rebuilt 3.54 unit. When that's done the engine and box will be coming out and the new (10 miles!) Quaiffe straight-cut gearbox will be replaced by a cooking item. The engine was rebuilt (another 10 miles item) but unfortunately the DPO didn't add anti-freeze and the core-plugs popped out over the Winter. Let's hope they did their job!

Today's struggle was to get the front wheels up onto my ramps- too steep/high to push, so had to jack each side up a bit at a time and slide the flat portions of the ramps under. I welded up these ramps myself (back in the 1970s) specifically for my then 68S4SE DHC, I made the sloping part detachable- one of the best ideas I ever had (mind you, I don't specialise in "best ideas")!

Watch this space.....
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PostPost by: pharriso » Mon Feb 03, 2020 9:19 pm

Good luck Pete, looks like a nice unmolested car :-)
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PostPost by: elansprint71 » Mon Feb 03, 2020 10:30 pm

pharriso wrote:Good luck Pete, looks like a nice unmolested car :-)


Thanks Phil. There's a good story with this car, also it's quite unusual in that the doors are a perfect fit without ever being tinkered with!
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PostPost by: pharriso » Mon Feb 03, 2020 11:54 pm

elansprint71 wrote:
pharriso wrote:Good luck Pete, looks like a nice unmolested car :-)


Thanks Phil. There's a good story with this car, also it's quite unusual in that the doors are a perfect fit without ever being tinkered with!


I guess that proves the 500 chimps at typewriters could write a Shakespeare book theory then!~ :lol:
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PostPost by: SENC » Tue Feb 04, 2020 1:16 am

:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
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PostPost by: mark030358 » Tue Feb 04, 2020 7:07 am

Excellent.... nothing like a project mate :D
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PostPost by: jimj » Tue Feb 04, 2020 8:46 am

I`ve had a project mate for 46 years. I`m still working on it.
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PostPost by: Elanintheforest » Tue Feb 04, 2020 9:02 am

Looking good Pete, and I'm sure that the sale of the Quaiffe and diff will pay for quite a few bits needed. I'm surprised the core plugs popped out when the car was parked up in a garage...how cold does it get up there?! They may not have been put in very well in the first place, which in this instance is a good job! The engine should be OK though.

I've been waking my S4 up in-between doing another project, and after 35 years off the road, it's survived surprisingly well and has come apart / is going back together without too many dramas. The only issues I've had is the rubbish repro stuff which has got worse over the past 10 years if anything, and it really does double the time to do anything!

Good luck with the build and enjoy!
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PostPost by: elansprint71 » Tue Feb 04, 2020 12:28 pm

Thanks for the comments guys; you'll be glad to know that I have already skinned a knuckle on each had so we can now officially call this a "proper job".
Remarkably it's 18 years since I rebuilt the Sprint and I've only done up "someone-else's" car once in between (998 Mini-Cooper) so I've almost forgotten all about DPOs and the things they can do! Already I've found a couple of things- although the car had been on the road (albeit for less than 20 miles) I undid the exhaust-pipe nuts by use of fingers only and also the big nuts holding the rear hubs are not what I would have used.
I trained as a tool-maker, so whilst I can bodge away as good as the next man, there are certain things that have to be right! If you look at the photos, one side has a split nut, which probably would have been perfectly adequate but the other side had a Nylok which the thread didn't really go right through, we've had trouble with Nyloks at work, so I'm a bit wary of them. OK getting the split pin thro' the castellated nut can be a fiddle if you don't know just where to bend them but that's the way I'll be doing it!

I've met The Great Jim Jackson's project mate several times; she is a treasure and far too good for him. :twisted:

Spot-on with the chimps and the Bard.

Mark, is your S4 resto online anywhere? I have a bill for the Quaife internals for £745 at 2002 prices, so that should realise at least that as it's now complete in a case, plus I've got the docs to prove the mileage is kosher. Its also got a rebuilt 3.9 diff, with bills for the new CWP etc. I totalled up the bills for new parts fitted to the car and it comes to over £3300 at then prices; not bad as I paid £8k for the car! I hope the block isn't cracked and you are right about the core plugs.
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PostPost by: elansprint71 » Tue Feb 04, 2020 12:30 pm

Right hub photo didn't appear!

But now it has! :lol:
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PostPost by: Elanintheforest » Tue Feb 04, 2020 12:54 pm

Mine is here Pete....
viewtopic.php?f=19&t=45156

I rebuilt the engine a couple of weeks ago, and will shortly do the scary bit...replace the rear strut wheel bearings!. I'll write it up shortly.
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PostPost by: elansprint71 » Tue Feb 04, 2020 1:40 pm

Elanintheforest wrote:Mine is here Pete....
viewtopic.php?f=19&t=45156

I rebuilt the engine a couple of weeks ago, and will shortly do the scary bit...replace the rear strut wheel bearings!. I'll write it up shortly.
Mark



Thanks Mark, that looks like a good read! I'll catch up on it.
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PostPost by: elansprint71 » Wed Feb 05, 2020 3:28 pm

IMG_9849.JPG and
Chassis mod 001
The differential is out; the usual pain of getting the diff-brace out seemed harder than I recall (maybe I'm not as agile as I was in 1977?!).

I've put an advert for the 3.9 Diff (ready to go) in the section here. I'll be listing it on eBay in a few days if nobody here wants it.

The photo shows the mods made to the left hand rear turret, it's been hacked out and a new piece welded in. I can only think this was done to aide diff changing. It didn't!
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PostPost by: mbell » Wed Feb 05, 2020 6:31 pm

Repair after diff output shaft failure?
'73 +2 130/5 RHD, now on the road and very slowly rolling though a "restoration"
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PostPost by: elansprint71 » Sun Feb 09, 2020 10:00 pm

3.54 diff all back together; decided to check that the brass plugs were all moveable while it was on the bench... the level plug is really stuck; will not budge at all! I have a cunning plan but imagine if I'd put the diff back in the car before discovering this?!!! :(
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